Best guitar to learn on?

    I'm looking to learn to play acoustic guitar. I've been told to get one with steel strings. Should I get 3/4 or full size? What do people think to the Martin Smith guitars which are about £46.99 from Amazon? They have steel strings.


    I learned on a steel string full size acoustic (about 39 inches), don't be tempted by cheap guitars. get a Yamaha F310 from argos or something (between £90 to £110), its the best as the action is very low and you can use it for years. I got mine for £99 used it to learn on and also used it for 6/7 gigs. Yoi wont regret it


    definitely get a full size!

    Best thing is to go to a shop and try. You'll notice they all feel and sound different. You'll know straight away which one to get

    Original Poster

    Can't believe Argos don't sell Yamaha guitars anymore. I've looked on Amazon and they're available on there so I'm gonna check out some YouTube videos. Thanks for your advice

    Don't get a cheap guitar to learn on. There's a variety of reasons why not least

    1) tuning

    The machine heads will be dreadful and not keep tune

    2) action

    The action on cheap guitars will be all over the place due to not being setup correctly and cheap parts. At best it will make it more difficult to play at worst impossible.

    3) setup

    Cheap guitars are not factory set up meaning what is cheap becomes more expensive when you pay to have this done - and you NEED to have this done at least once per guitar and especially if you are a beginner. It's much more difficult to learn to play if the sounds you are making don't resonate with the sounds you SHOUD be making. Setup affects all sorts of things such as tuning on fret placement - particularly at the octave step (12th fret)

    4) you'll outgrow it quickly

    It's a false economy going for really cheap guitars as if you have really made you mind up to play, you'll need a new guitar within about 3 months of playing. At this point you'll have basic chord structures working and because of items 1-3 youll begin getting irritated with the cheapness and have the urge to buy a newer one

    A good beginner guitar is something like the Lindo black widow, or something with a dreadnaught body. Don't go full body or big acoustic as the size will be an obstacle.... and you don't need obstacles at the very beginning.…ck/

    With regard to the strings, the type of strings is less important than the.gauge. Heavy gauge strings will be easier to play and first and will help develop thick calluses on your finger tips, however, they are a NIGHTMARE to bend and will give you muscle fatigue quickly. Conversely low gauge strings will "cut" into your baby soft finger tips and give you a lot of pain especially at the beginning - it's like playing on tight cheese wire. However as you're calluses develope and finger strength grows low gauge strings are far easier to bend and slide on etc.

    It's best to just buy a few packs - they're cheap - and swap between them every couple of months.

    Edited by: "t3hfunk3r" 12th Mar

    roughly how many hours does it take to learn?


    roughly how many hours does it take to learn?

    Learn what exactly, to strum a few songs with 2/3/4 open chords not too long, anything else a lifetime because you never stop learning

    I made that mistake a few years ago, bought a cheap guitar from Argos and gave up because of the action and the setup. A few years later bought a Yamaha F310 (as mentioned above) and started to enjoy learning. Since I bought a Faith electro acoustic (second hand on Ebay), and that's more than enough for me right now. As anything else, learning a new skill has to be enjoyable, if not, you will give up
    Edited by: "jeannot18" 13th Mar

    Don't start your journey as a guitarist on a horrible instrument. It can really make the difference between feeling you are progressing, or being overwhelmingly frustrated at always sounding out of tune and thinking guitar playing is really, really hard work!
    Generally speaking, don't buy a brand new sub £85 guitar. Stick to companies that have a decent guitar pedigree... Yamaha, Fender etc. Fortunately beginner instruments have much improved in the past decade and you can get some really good acoustics under £200. Go to a few guitar stores (even if you don't buy there) and try some different shapes. A dreadnought is a very large, often unweildy size for a beginner - but that may suit you. A Parlour or three quarter size acoustic might suit you, if you're a sofa player with not much space. In the middle you have folk size guitars and OM size (orchestra models). All with different feel and surprisingly different tones.
    The Yamaha F310 is a popular starter. Vintage make some great folk size guitars like the V300. Generally you're looking for a stable, playable instrument.

    The machine heads or tuners need to be reliable. If not, the guitar won't stay in tune. The neck has to be true and the frets and fretboard have to be as smooth and comfortable as possible. The action (how high the strings sit above the fretboard) has to be comfortable and not too high. If it's too high, the guitar will always sound out of tune when you fret a note and fretting that note will be difficult. The intonation has to be good. The intonation is the guitar's tuning. The scale length between the nut and the bridge has to be precise. If it is not, however well the guitar is tuned at the open strings, the further out of tune it will get as you play up the neck. Play an open string and then play the same string at the 12th fret. It should be the same note one octave higher. If the note is sharp or flat, then the intonation is off. Cheaper acoustics often suffer severely with this problem.

    Go and play some. See what you like. Don't feel intimidated by guitar shop employees! Don't let them sell the guitar by playing it themselves. A good guitar store assistant will always give you the info you need and leave you to play it yourself.

    Happy guitar hunting and good luck with your playing!

    The Yamaha F310 is a great shout, but as an alternative, try a Washburn WDS10. I picked a new one up for £150 delivered from Amazon about 12 months ago, and it's nothing short of amazing for the price. I have Fender, Tanglewood and Takamine acoustics that were all more expensive than the Washburn, but it's by far my favourite. Excellent sound and a great action. An absolute pleasure to play. If you bought one of these, it wouldn't just be a beginners guitar, you'd be playing it for years.

    Have a look at this, its very informative…87s
    The yamaha recommended above is a good starter instrument, and epiphone make good guitars too starting at around £90 - £100

    i started learning the acoustic guitar about three weeks ago and was searching around just like you for advice. I was sure I'd go for the yamaha fg310 for £90 although in the back of my mind I wondered whether I should just spend the extra on a solid top fg800 for £180 anyway I then plucked up the courage and went into the guitar shop and tried a load of models I didn't really like the sound of both the yamahas in the end. The guy in the shop was so helpful and just told me it was all about what felt right and sounded nicest to me in the end. And he was spot on. I tried around 20 and settled on the cort earth 70 as I absolutely loved the sound. The guy done me a deal as I saw it was online for £170 and he done it for me for £120. so my advice is go into a local guitar shop and try for yourself. you'll then also see how passionate these guys are and will get some great advice. and they'll probably set it all up for you too
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